Good Google

USA TODAY: That many small businesses have grown tremendously thanks to Google’s pay-per-click advertising is well known. The low cost of entry and the fact that advertisers only have to pay if an ad is clicked has brought hundreds of thousands to the new medium, with amazing success stories.
Less well-known is that many non-profits are also benefiting from search advertising. They are attracting more donors, and more people in need. And best of all, for them — it’s free. Google provides the advertising space at no cost.
Google has given away $33 million in free advertising to 850 non-profits in the last two years, says Sheryl Sandberg, Google’s vice president of global online sales. “We don’t see any limit to this. We want it to continue growing.”
To apply for Google Grants, groups must have a website and official non-profit status. A short application at asks how Grants can help. Non-profits must compose a sample ad and address any affiliation with political advocacy groups.
That’s a deal-breaker for many non-profits. Google will give free ad space only to non-religious and non-political groups, Sandberg says, because, “We want to be fair and unbiased in everything we do.”
Google’s stance means that groups such as Amnesty International, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Catholic Relief Services don’t qualify. “It’s not fair,” says Paul Tillman, director of marketing for the Catholic Relief Services. “We help on the basis of need, not creed. That’s a broad brush they’re painting us with.”
The decision on who gets in or out is made by 250 staffers at Google who volunteer to work on the project.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.